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Enhancing the quality of life for all Queensland communities

Andrew Johnson

SWQ Branch President

Director Operations, CEO Designate, Somerset Regional Council

SWQ Branch committee

Andrew Johnson (Branch President)


Somerset Regional Council

Angela Fry

Manager, Toowoomba and South West  GHD Pty Ltd

Dereck Sanderson (Vice President)

District Director, Darling Downs

Department of Transport and Main Roads

Maddy Stahlhut (Ambassador)

Civil Engineer

GHD Pty Ltd

Cameron Ives

Professional Engineer

GenEng Solutions Pty Ltd

Shelley Burchett

Assets Manager

Proterra Group Pty Ltd

Seren McKenzie

Director Infrastructure Services

Southern Downs Regional Council

Luke Tanner

Manager Works

Goondiwindi Regional Council

SWQ Branch Presidents Report
March 2021

We are now just days away from the 2021 SWQ Branch conference in Chinchilla which commences with a Tech Tour of the award-winning Chinchilla Botanic Parklands, 8am Thursday 19 March. Our thanks to Western Downs Regional Council for hosting the conference and Tech Tour with the mayor, Cr Paul McVeigh delivering the official opening.

WDRC’s Open Space Strategy recognises the need to provide a 'destination park' in each of the major centres to promote both tourism and community wellbeing. This precinct was the winner in the category Projects $5 to $10 million at the 2020 IPWEAQ Excellence Awards and will now compete on the Australasian stage in November. Ray Hicks, Brandon & Associates will deliver a keynote on this project which is also featured this month in the Every Community Needs an Engineer (ECNE) calendar with the theme, ‘engineers build communities’.

This year’s conference program is again filled with a variety of presentations on the many areas of engineering we experience in the west of the state for example, Aaron Meehan will discuss the issues faced in Cherbourg during COVID-19 including barriers to protect their Aboriginal community, James Darcy will present on the Coopers Gap Wind Farm. We have a series of papers from TMR on harmonisation, road safety, micro-surfacing and culvert upgrades with other presenters discussing reseal contract), gravel loss on unsealed roads and Darren Shepherd (Shepherd), a finalist at the SEQ Branch conference for his presentation on Rockhampton City Council’s online unsealed roads management program. But it is not all about roads – far from it. We have presentations on bore water cooling, decommissioning council facilities, drones and asset data, data integrity, latent conditions in contracts, pre-fabricated building project contracts, main street upgrade issues and solutions and the constantly growing issues for councils around native title compliance.

Last year, we only managed to deliver one IPWEAQ Branch conference before human contact was erased from our vocabulary with COVID-19, and that was in Stanthorpe with a record 195 delegates. While the SEQ Branch was the first regional conference in 2021, we’re on target in the west to achieve another record delegation in Chinchilla while setting another benchmark for IPWEAQ branch conferences.

And just a reminder that we are building our Body of Knowledge in specific areas of public works engineering in the IPWEAQ Knowledge Centre, created around each month of the ECNE calendar. If you have any reports, articles, videos etc on projects you’ve delivered for any of the monthly themes in the 14-month ECNE calendar, please submit these to Johanna.Vanling@ipweaq.com. I am looking forward to January 2022 which features the Somerset Regional Council’s Brisbane Valley Rail Trail which also has the theme, ‘engineers build communities’.

And my best wishes to WDRC competing at the Australasian awards for the Chinchilla parklands! It would be great to see the Australasian Project of the Year return to South West Queensland this year! Let’s make it a habit.

Andrew Johnson
SWQ Branch President

IPWEAQ members and delegates of the 2021 SWQ Branch conference can now access the conference proceedings via our globally-recognised Knowledge Centre